June 25, 2015 - Comments Off on Showtime and Hulu Explain Why Their Brands are Pulling Double Duty
Jason Lynch for AdWeek…
Hulu said it made the change after noticing that consumers were confused about the Hulu and Hulu Plus brand distinctions, with Hulu being the far more recognizable brand of the two. By eliminating Hulu Plus, the company hopes to create a consistent brand and alleviate—not cause—market confusion.
I think that's the right call by Hulu. We had many discussions at PBS when we were launching products for XBOX, Hulu, AppleTV and many more about what to call our service. HBO had a very strong brand with HBO GO and other networks were beginning to roll out their services with names like FX NOW and Showtime Anytime. But ultimately we felt PBS didn't need a secondary signifier1. After all, this was still PBS - same great content but on a different platform. A viewer/user just happened to be watching it on their AppleTV or iPhone, which is why all our apps and OTT services are simply named PBS2.
My personal feeling is that by segmenting your brand into different services with different names for the same content is going to cause confusion in the long run with viewers and consumers. I think HBO is seeing a bit of that now with HBO, HBO GO, and HBO NOW. Try explaining the differences between them to the average person.
- That's not to say, that in the future, if PBS has a service that is different from it's normal content, we won't create a marketing name for that service. ↩
- Our marketing campaign was called "PBS Anywhere" - not to be confused with the actual product which is just named PBS. It was meant to convey the message that PBS is "anywhere you want to be". ↩